All homes need power to supply lights, electronics, appliances, and other tools. It seems that energy costs are always on the rise, so as a homeowner, if you want to find ways to lower your energy bill and perhaps generate some of your own electricity, you have options.
Renewable energy can be produced at home without adding fuel of any kind. It is renewable because its source provides energy generation for free, continuously. You just have to find a way to take advantage of it. Among the fastest and least expensive home power generation stations you can build are solar panels and wind turbines. Of course, both will be on a smaller scale suitable for your home, but you can still incorporate your design into your home's energy infrastructure and lower your energy costs.
Home Solar Panels
More and more people are compiling the materials, learning the process, and making solar panels for their homes. It won't allow you to completely go off the grid, but it will lower your energy bill. There is even a way to capture and store solar energy in batteries. By combining new components with second-hand and even salvage materials, you can make a solar panel for as little as $ 100. It will take some time and effort, and a panel will produce little more than a few volts, but it's a start. When connected in a circuit, multiple solar panels can greatly reduce your energy bill.
Solar water heater
A good and inexpensive way to reduce the electricity costs associated with heating water for showers, sinks, and washing machines is to install a solar water heater. Like solar panels, a solar water heater captures heat from the sun, but does not use it to create electricity. Rather, it involves a direct process of heating the stored water. By some estimates, it can reduce the cost of water heating by 50-80%. That kind of savings for a whole year is remarkable. The cost of purchasing and installing a solar water heating system, like a regular water heater, is not cheap if you buy it new. However, you can put it together and save a lot of money. As an alternative, consider placing a second smaller tank next to your water heater that stores room temperature water. The water heater does not need to expend as much energy to heat it as it would with cold water.
Another option for relatively inexpensive alternative energy sources is a domestic wind turbine. Again, there is a fair amount of knowledge and preparation involved with this venture, but once you have an understanding, you can compile all kinds of materials to build it. Like solar panels at home, you likely won't go off-grid completely, but your home wind generator will lower your monthly bill.
Although it is not electricity, water is energy. The water that falls from the sky and is stored in the rain barrels you installed should be considered renewable energy, since you take advantage of it for free. Use this water for gardening needs. You can even set up a water usage system to use for laundry and dish washing. Doing so will reduce your water bill tremendously.
There are a number of quick and relatively inexpensive methods for harnessing renewable energy in your home. They require a bit of specialized knowledge, but it is nothing that cannot be learned and implemented on your own. Reduce your energy costs by increasing the energy you get from the grid, or the water you get from the water system, with homemade renewable energy.
Original article (in English)